This year's 9th of May Day is marked by war, a tragedy that the founding fathers of the Union hoped to have consigned to the history of the 20th century. Instead, it is happening again.
On 24 February, Ukraine was invaded by the Russian army, confronting us all with radical choices. Brussels launched a fast-track accession process to welcome Kyiv into the common space.
To symbolise the solidarity of European citizens with Ukraine under the bombs, our partner organisation EuropaNow! is embracing the Ukrainian embassy: on 9 May, more than 50 blue starred metres, made up of about 150 EU flags, will wrap the building of the diplomatic residence in Via Guido D'Arezzo, Rome.
"The European choice of Ukraine is not a slogan or an electoral appeal. This is precisely the self-identification of Ukrainians," Ambassador Yaroslav Melnyk stressed.
"This choice is given to us, unfortunately, by blood and pain, by the lives of young people and children, who, on the contrary, should build our common future. A choice that the Moscow regime cannot forgive us, just as it cannot forgive us for wanting to be free. But I hope that soon, despite this tragic period, Ukraine will celebrate Europe Day not with EU members, but among members."
"The aggression unleashed by Vladimir Putin requires us to support the Ukrainian resistance and reminds us of the founding reasons for our union: the rejection of wars of aggression and the fight against totalitarian regimes" says Eric Jozsef, co-founder of EuropaNow! and member of New Europeans International, who calls on everyone to mobilise.
"In the face of the Kremlin's imperialism, European citizens must show their brotherhood and solidarity with the Ukrainian people, striving to quickly achieve our union of freedom and peace."
On the day when the Conference on the Future of Europe closes, 9 May 2022, it seems more crucial than ever to stress that the EU project, in the spirit of Jean Monnet, should not be limited to bringing states together, but should unite all men and women who share values of justice, solidarity and democracy.